Posted in Anxiety, Challenges, Mom, Struggle

Triggers

Mom on her Wedding day with my uncle and Dads brother and wife to the right

The journey has intensified over the last couple of days and many feelings and emotions have surfaced. Whether it is finding some hidden treasure that speaks to my heart or a childhood memory, or whether it is feeling, the light entering the room at a certain time, or perhaps I am given glimpse and a better understanding of the person my Mother was, it is definitely pulling on my heartstrings like never before. I feel deep inside my heart the love she always carries for me, a live she struggles to show and yet it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t there. It was and I try hard to steer away from the risk of feeling that I have wronged her in many ways. Like she hurt me not being able to show her love, I have wronged her by not seeing it anyways. But this is not a time for blame and who did what. Time has passed and is now gone, and I am here feeling her love, feeling my love and it still hurts and nearly breaks my heart. Grief is love unexpressed, unable to give it to a living person.

I cried today. Overcome, I cried today. Not inwards, swallowing all the sound, unable to express the raw emotions, no…I cried today. Loud, letting it all flow, expressing the pain my heart still holds. It was a cleansing cry, but also one of loneliness and missed time that will never return. Still I walked besides you and felt you with me as I opened my heart for you to see all the love it always held for you.

Later in the day I went to the cemetery and picked/ordered your headstone. It will be a heart with your name, dates and a dragonfly added to Dads and for the past nearly three years, your grave. I made it so I will always be able to take the heart with me at a later time when the grave time runs out. You see I carry your heart with me wherever I go.

Tomorrow is the signing of the sale for the house and it’s another trigger that makes the tears flow. I don’t have to be out of the house until June and yet it feels like my last night here. At least as the owner of what you’ve built with so much hard work and dedication. After tomorrow I can’t go back and I know I can’t go forwards either keeping the house. I know I am doing what must be done but it still makes my heart bleed all over the place and I wish you were here to hold and hug me just once more. This is hard Mom and I miss you.

Posted in Anxiety, Struggle, Time

Fleeting time

Fleeting moments, fleeting time is a struggle that seems to get worse with age. When we get older, time becomes an even greater gift and we can value and appreciate it through old and tired eyes, and yet, often with a new, crystal clear vision. The days pass, the months move by, and before we know it another year has come to an end. Living in awareness has been a great gift to me and although I can’t slow the rushing time, being more aware of my days, of my moments has allowed me to take them all in at a more profound manner. Here is a little pondering about fleeting time from an unknown source in collaboration with my own thoughts.

“Barely the day started and it’s already six in the evening. Barely arrived on Monday and it’s already Friday. …and the month is already over. …and the the year is almost over. …and already 40, 50, or 60 years of our lives have passed. …and we realize that we lost our parents, friends. …and we realize it’s too late to go back. So…let’s try, despite everything, to enjoy the remaining time. Let’s keep looking for activities that we like. Let’s put some color in our grey. Let’s smile at the little things in life that put balm in our hearts. And despite everything, we must continue to enjoy with serenity this time we have left. Let’s try to eliminate the afters…I am doing it after. I’ll think about it after. We leave everything for later like “after” is ours. Because what we don’t understand is that: afterwards, the coffee gets cold, afterwards, priorities change. Afterwards, the charm is broken. Afterwards, health passes. Afterwards, the kids grow up. Afterwards, parents get old. Afterwards, promises are forgotten. Afterwards, the day becomes the night. And then it’s often too late. So…let’s leave nothing for later. Because still waiting to see later, we can lose the best moments, the best experience, best friends, the best family. The day is today. The moment is now. We are no longer at the age where we can afford to postpone what needs to be done right away. It looks like an eternity, but it’s a short trip. Enjoy life and always be kind.”

Posted in Anxiety, Fear, Pain

I might even cry today

Some days I feel like life is overwhelming and yet I know everything is moving along as smoothly as possible. There is just so much that is happening all at once, and because of it life feels heavy at times. Much needs attention as the time is ticking down and in less than 3 weeks I will be gone to Germany. Sometimes I don’t feel ready and on a day like today where I barely slept during the night because of physical pain, I can feel the fear and doubt creeping in. How will I manage the flight? How…how…how…is the theme song playing out in my head, and my faithful motto to trust, surrender and let it all unfold has vanished once more.

I feel more vulnerable and the pain reminds me of how quickly and swiftly it can influence my overall outlook. Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.

Another doctors appointment is around the corner in regards to my follow up and the x-rays. A referral to a specialist has been requested or submitted to treat my ongoing issues and perhaps halt further bone erosion in addition to the one in hands I already have. The pain meds prescribed, a fancy name for Aleve aren’t doing the trick and I still struggle way too much to go about my days.

Today I feel vulnerable enough that I might even cry.

In other news the countdown is on. Taxes are waiting to be addressed, Prescriptions need to be reordered and picked up despite not really making a big difference. The pain and sadness over the death of a loved one is still very fresh and demands attention and action. There is already a heartfelt separation anxiety that I feel when it comes to my loved ones and my beloved Cinnamon. Even to that small but very familiar space of the tiny abode in which I dwell in and have the comforts that I need. There is travel anxiety with a virus at large that most likely will never go away. Still being subjected to millions of people in airports and planes makes it almost unavoidable and impossible to not get sick. There is pressure about a rental car, about scheduling and getting a negative covid test prior to departure. There are things that are still not quite resolved as far as getting the things I want to keep back to the States, and where to, a way to figure out wifi coverage in Germany so I don’t feel soooo disconnected, and numerous other things.

As it is evident, I am overwhelming myself today. All because a continued lack of sleep and my constant pain levels. As the time is ticking away, I feel the pressure, and while there is so much to look forward to, it also remains simply overwhelming. And that while I have it easy, ha. It could be a lot different. But….

Today I feel vulnerable enough and I might even cry.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Life, Mental Health

Existential anxiety and depression

I was no stranger to the toy company called Melissa and Doug, but I never knew much about the people behind it and who created this line. It wasn’t until I bought a book called LifeLines, written by Melissa Bernstein, that I learned Melissa was one and the same woman. Creator of a toy company, author and survivor of existential anxiety and depression. In her book she documented her extraordinary and inspirational journey from profound darkness to radiant light. To this day I have not read this book that appealed to me some time ago and it’s not unusual for a book to come forward and find me. Sometimes I read them immediately and other times they patiently wait for the right timing, when I need them the most. I don’t question it anymore, I just go with the flow and know that the information will find me in time, and that the purpose will be revealed when it counts the most. I don’t know for what reason I picked up the book today. I simply felt drawn and called to it. I held it for a moment, gazing across the front cover and the chosen words to grace and capture the audience.

“Today I saved a life, although it was my very own, which won’t serve a greater purpose til I rescue lives unknown.”

I began to open the book and her intro, “Why now” felt as if she was speaking about me. I could only imagine how much we would have to talk about, how much of an understanding there would be, how we would complete each other’s sentences, feeling heard and understood. For a moment I walked down memory lane and remembered that very feeling I was lucky enough to experience at a prior point in my life.

I didn’t had to go far into the book and within the first two pages something captured me that I never heard of before. Existential anxiety and depression. In order to understand the meaning we need to break this down a bit. According to the Cambridge Dictionary existential is defined as a philosophy according to which the world has no meaning and each person is alone and completely responsible for his or her own actions. Further research revealed that existential depression is considered the mental illness of the gifted and talented.

We often tend to assume that depression is caused by a situation, by something that triggered it, an event, a dissatisfaction. It can be seasonal, situational, or intrapersonal. But existential depression can occur during periods of deep reflection about the meaning of life. When we seek answers about the very purpose and meaning of our existence. It might even revolve around topics of death, isolation, freedom and meaninglessness. We might also experience existential depression after major life events such as bereavement, accidents, natural disasters, job loss, failed marriages and so on.

Some believe that gifted people, gifted children and adults, are more likely to experience existential depression in their lives. Those creative, gifted, and talented who actively search and question life’s meaning are often thought to be more prone to existential depression. This includes the deep thinkers, the scientists, the sensitive people, the gifted individuals attuned to everything around them. And yes most likely the empaths as well. Gifted children may find it especially difficult to navigate life if they have that intellectual excitability or thirst for knowledge, to explore more intellectually than others who may be around them.

While existential depression may be a part of, or a form of, a spiritual crisis, it can also be a positive catalyst for change and growth. It is said that especially gifted and creative people do learn and grow in a positive way from what they experience through traumatic experiences and life crises. Finally I found myself on familiar territory. I too had asked an eternity the question “why” while drowning in a sea of despair, not knowing what was going on, that there was a name, a title, a term for what I was experiencing. Like Melissa, I was in my fifth decade of life, still believing I was a visitor from another planet who would never be understood, who would never fit in or be embraced here on Earth. And while I often cherished and celebrated my uniqueness, my individuality, not being like everyone else, a cookie cutter version of everybody, I realized that there were also painful elements to this celebration. There was isolation, a loneliness, a sense of not fitting in, and yes, even a sense of something being wrong with me.

Kazimierz Dabrowski (1902-1980) spent his lifetime studying the mental health of intellectually and artistically inclined children and adults, recognizing that extreme intensity of their emotions and sensitivities was actually part of their psycho-physical makeup. In fact Dabrowski, in his clinical practice, saw many creative artists and writers undergoing profound spiritual crises. This forged his primary mission to “save and protect those who were tuned to the pain of the world and its dangerous trends, but whose voice was not heeded.” He saw those who were open to higher realities were often poorly adapted to this world and thus at risk for not succeeding or even surviving.

Having this knowledge now, perhaps every single moment, every single emotion and fear makes sense and can be seen in a new light. A radiant light of understanding and transforming the darkness within. Maybe the veil has been lifted, a mystery has been revealed and perhaps we can learn to understand ourselves a little better yet. Maybe we can see why we reacted the way we did, why we protected ourselves the way we did and why we seem to struggle just a little more. The enormity of this in itself is breathtaking and terrifying, but perhaps it can also be a tremendous relief to what seemed such a life mystery for so long. And my hope is to share this with you to bring you the same kind of peace, to be heard, and understood, and know that you are not alone.

Posted in Anxiety, Chronic illness, Health

Time to face the music

It’s been 4 years since my last doctors appointment, until today. While I often consider myself to be my own best adviser and caregiver, I realize that from time to time I need a little extra help in addition to what I can do. This seems to be such a time, as my constant never seems to fade too far away anymore and is always present. By the time this post goes active, my initial visit will be behind me and hopefully I can feel good about it. I’ve been assigned to a female doctor and hopefully she can see more in me than just a dollar sign and can understand my concerns. There are other health providers and options I want to explore such as functional medicine where I believe my solution lies, and where there is a better collaboration between patient and provider such as a team effort, but at the moment I am under time constraints and have no choice. What I have to tackle in the near future requires a more steady self, one that can power through what needs to be done in Germany. I can’t afford to sit back and see what day it’s gonna be, to listen to my body and rest of it resists. I need to get stuff done and quickly at that.

I am sure a barrage of tests will be in line as I am starting at square one with a new general doctor. A relation, knowledge and history has to be established and old health records may not be in existence anymore since my old rheumatologist moved away 4 years ago. From there I will face other specialist referrals and the whole nine yards of bloodwork and on. I already can think of a few self diagnosis’s, but I need help with the RA right now and can’t wait.

I am not a pill taker, especially not when it comes to these harsh meds, but I have to see it as a temporary solution and not as a permanent choice. After all I have been here before, haven’t I, a few times actually, and this time I am putting forth an even bigger attempt and effort to live pain free down the line. I have been nearly coffee free for almost three weeks. One cup on Sunday is my splurge and this week I tolerated it without a flare up. New nutrition is being added while old culprits are taken off. It’s still too early to say what works and whether it is turning into a long term benefit, but time will tell and I am paying attention very closely.

I am planning to go to Germany the beginning to mid march and hope to have found some relief until then. To me the pills are a last resort and I don’t even know if I can or will commit to them a 100%. I will have to see how it goes and what is in store for me. I need to halt the damage to my bones permanently and inflammation is the biggest tackle for me. For the past week my feet were killing me. First my hand / wrist and as soon as that got better, the problems shifted to the feet, neck and shoulders. It was like walking on bones without any cushioning. Also the sides of my feet were so painful, I had to google what it could be. Surprise, all things courtesy to the arthritis and inflammation. I am optimistic that with diet changes that addresses leaky gut, gout, and inflammation, (my self diagnosis), the inflammation markers will reduce as well as weight will be shed. I am hoping this translates into overall health improvements.

On the stress front and after Germany, a huge burden should be lifted and I can resume my life according to my own dreams. This should fuel and motivate me. It shall be the wind beneath my wings. Further lifestyle changes, daily meditation and actively pursuing energy healing and what I have learned so far, will be powerful tools that will bring balance. It looks like I have a plan, and I am asking the universe to support me, for my intentions are clear and not to be mistaken. ~Namaste

Posted in Anxiety, Awareness, Fear

The remnants of Fear

The other days I realized that my thoughts have been cycling back to fear. Fear is such a big part of our life and almost a constant, something that is always in our lives, one way or another. Sometimes it is more dormant, almost not noticeable at all, while it is much more prevalent during other times. The other day I was wondering if we get so used to fear that we accept it as a constant, as something that just is and belongs into our lives. Do we adapt to it as a part of us?

For myself, I know that I have worked hard to surrender my fears. To let go of them and trust that everything will always find it’s way. I for one, do not like the anxiety and the stifled self that comes with fear and worrying about things that often never come to fruition. I think we have all been there and driven ourselves crazy before, and in the end none of our horror visions ever came true. Maybe fear is a cousin of doubt. Does it arise when we don’t fully believe? Perhaps it is also a cousin of trust and believe, arising when we don’t fully trust and believe in ourselves. Mmmh….sometimes I feel like doing my own detective work, being my own psychiatrist, my own mentor and of course I am all those things as you are those things to yourself as well. Sometimes we just need to talk it out I suppose.

So why am I talking about this now, and how come I feel this way? One big hurdle that remains to be conquered in my life is Germany and selling the house. I believe I have mentioned that two parties have come forward and are interested in the house. I’am not even there and thousands of miles away, it is literally selling itself. Well not quite that simple and my dear cousin is overseeing it all, but still, it couldn’t go any easier if this is what will transpire and become a final sale. So what’s the problem, why am I so anxious about it all? Probably it’s due to a variety of things such as doubt, trust and a lack of believing in myself that is leading to worries of how to get it all done. How to go through all the personal belongings and find the energy and strength to do it. I know it is not something anybody can help with as it is a part of closure, that coming to terms, that final letting go. I know that I have to do it and physically I am challenged quite a bit.

I muddle around every day, doing small projects here and there, trying to be more active, getting back to how I was years ago. Years when I was younger, years when I didn’t have the RA. It’s not realistic and I know I kid myself every day. I do projects and at the end of the day I look back and can’t see any significant progress, like I didn’t even come close to make a dent into my chores. And so they flow over to the next day, maybe that day will bring less pain and I can muster more energy. Have I made improvements – yes. Have I made strides for a better life and improved life quality – yes. Have I managed to do more by myself without the help of another – yes. And still it’s not enough and not quick enough. So I wonder during this time of added pressure, is this just a moment that needs to pass? A moment I worry for no good reason, where I allow doubt, not trusting the process and not believing in myself to sneak in and cause these remnants of fear to resurface? I know that I need to believe that everything will find it’s way. It has so far and it’s going smoother than anyone could wish for. I need to believe in myself and that the adrenaline will give me wings to complete this final project. I need to see it through and I need to trust that everything is guided and will unfold exactly how it is meant to be.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Life, Poetry

Sometimes…

It’s true this blog is one that stands for inspiration. And while it shares my story, my struggles and my journey of becoming, I write mostly about things that appear easier said than done. Someone who is struggling may even be put off by my ways, thinking that I have no clue about real life and the challenges we so often face. But I do, and believe me I have these days, these moments of darkness that scare the hell out of me and are so painful that sometimes I struggle to cling on to the light. I am not exempt for one bit, but I choose to not stay down there for too long. I break out at every opportunity I get. I don’t want to live there forever. I want to be active in co-creating. I deserve better. But believe me I’m no stranger to it and this is such a post.

Sometimes my heart freezes and skips a beat. If only to become still and take a moment to rekindle and regain it’s glow. Sometimes I’m not sure if I’m made for this world. It’s just too cruel of a place and sometimes the unbelievable breaks my spirit. I want to feel intensively. I want to feel every moment, joy and sadness, for it is those moments, intense, that stand out in our memory. For it is those moments that truly make us feel alive. I want to be alive and not just exist. Yet at times it’s simply too painful to feel at such a level. To feel every detail reaching your inner core, leaving you vulnerable to a world of pain. It crashes over me like a wave that wants to pull me down into the darkest abyss. A dark sky hovers over me, filled with ominous clouds, reaching down, swallowing me alive at a moments time. My light is growing dim. Will I emerge once more and find the strength. Will I summon the will to fight my way back!

Sometimes the biggest heart bleeds the most. Sometimes those who choose to feel with every inch of their being, are the ones who have been hurt the most. Sometimes my heart feels the heaviness of a world, so beautiful yet so ravaged. Sometimes it fills me with sadness and a sense of being helpless. Sometimes the cruelty towards an animal nearly breaks my fragile heart that loves and sees not just an animal, but also a soul. And how we behave amongst each other is by no means any better or one of our proudest moments. Sometimes my heart threatens to shatter into a thousand pieces. Pieces, jagged and sharp made of the stories of my life. Made of the pain encountered, not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. Where and when will I pick up these pieces and find the will to go on.

Sometimes there is no simple way to relate. Sometimes the “why me” sets in and replaces the courageous “try me.” Sometimes it’s hard to shake off “life happening” and it’s hard to always understand. Sometimes the pain is too great to fuel the fire of hope. Sometimes it’s an uphill battle to get up after we have fallen, but one thing is for certain, we always do and we always find a way.

Posted in Anxiety, Authenticity, Fear

In good times and in bad times

Anxiety and fear is real. In fact it’s so real that all of us have experienced it in some form or another at some point in our lives. It has many faces and just the other day I was confronted with a scary incident that evoked such feelings . Many of us live in anxiety and fear every day, doing our very best to suppress and hide it and to not show it to the world. Could we be labeled weak, flawed, undesirable? Maybe even worse, we could feel judged, condemned, or ridiculed. These are all hurtful actions that would trigger a number of feelings and emotions just sending us further down the rabbit hole.

The topic has come up because last night a sweet soul made a post about being hyper focused on making her vision so clear that all of her fears become irrelevant. Sounds familiar, who else has been here? Maybe that’s not that unusual, but it becomes it when you as a bystander don’t realize, nor had any clue that the person next to you is holding such thoughts and feelings. It reminds me of what I said a long time ago when I was questioning how many of us suffer in silence. How many try to fit the mold of fitting in, of being accepted and validated. How many are too tough on themselves by setting unrealistic goals or think that they have to carry all of the burden themselves. I used to be one of those souls and I can look back on this in hindsight and recognize all the work it took to become aware, acknowledge, learn to forgive and love unconditionally, to grant myself a second chance, and to be patient with myself. It also has taught me to surrender and losen the reigns, to give up as much control as I possibly can, it is only an illusion and we are never truly in control of it all. It takes practice, trust and believe and it remains to be my work in progress as I am presented with new scenarios and experiences that continuously broaden my horizon.

Today I would question the purpose and the need for such a vision and statement. I would dig deeper to investigate my wounds and inner child that is creating such fears. I would be familiar with how to address these skeletons, how to call them out, even dance with them before asking them to leave. I would meet myself with unconditional love and forgiveness and remember that I don’t want to fit into anybody’s box and how they think I should be. Today I would remember that honestly I don’t need someone who only sees the good in me. Who is welcome in my life these days is someone who sees the bad and still wants to stick around. That is what unconditional is about.

Posted in Anxiety, Death, Fear

A happy ending

Yesterday could have ended much differently for us, and honestly I am still digesting what happened. By writing about it I hope to get some fear and anxiety that has set in in hindsight while seeing a much bigger picture off of my chest and I will feel better.

It started as a beautiful day, one of those rare mild ones late in the season where Father Winter can make an appearance each and every day. It was my first time out for an extended period since hiking The Wave. I felt good and I was going to go a little further than usual today. It should be no problem after my adventure to The Wave, and although I wasn’t planning to hike 10 miles, I’d be happy if I hit 3. I was breathing deeply and the sun felt nice and warm in the slight breeze. I took Cinnamon to a place, a point on a lake we have hiked several times in the past. Except today we would go beyond the bathroom which is usually our turning point. The path is a gravel road and goes through the woods. It ends at a point of the lake and if it wasn’t too muddy, this would be a great place for Cinnamon to run and burn off some energy. The entire hike to the point was peaceful and I was thinking about thanksgiving and how I felt this feeling of gratitude and giving thanks every day already. Who needed a calendar to dictate as to when you should feel this way, but I get it and understand why.

Arrived at the waterfront 1.7 miles later, Cinnamon walked right in and submerged herself up to her belly in cool bliss. I scanned the area and made out the dry patch of an open field to the left of us. It would provide a great area for her to run wild and free. Further left in quite some distance, I saw a group of three people with a dog. I felt that with any luck, she (Cinnamon) wouldn’t even notice them as they were far enough away. I let her loose and she ran like a maniac across the field. Ears flopping, smiling from ear to ear, mouth open showing teeth in such a delight and happiness that it always makes me laugh. I snapped a few pictures and glanced over to the group of people to see what they were up to. It’s a habit and something I always do, especially when I’m out alone. To be honest, I’d rather encounter no one and I’m sure this mindset stems from an experience many years ago where I was stalked and someone was following me. Strangely this happened at the same lake.

By now the group was breaking up and two out of the tree people with the dog were heading into the woods. The man dressed in all black, wearing a hoodie seemed overdressed for this warm day and was now starting to walk into my direction. Immediately I got a real bad feeling and was trying to make sense of what reason he could possibly have to walk towards me. There was no car parked that he was returning to, there was nothing besides the bathroom and I highly doubted that this is where he was heading to. My intuition and gut feelings were running rampant and I knew that we had to get out of there. I leashed Cinnamon in record time and started to briskly move. My goal was to walk off of the open field towards the trail in the woods. I was grateful having accomplished putting her on leash quickly and that she wasn’t playing any game of catch me if you can that day. In my mind I was trying to calculate of where the man in black would intercept me on the trail, me coming straight and him coming from the side. I was gauging the distance and I had no desire to meet him. I had hurry, hurry, hurry if I was to have chance avoiding him.

I looked over into his direction which was now on my right side to check his progress and where he was. He had disappeared which was even weirder and I knew again that something wasn’t right. I forced myself to move even faster and to get off of this darn open field. Almost there, and at least back into the woods I thought to myself as I saw him reappear and come out from behind a bush of which bare branches were tightly meshed together, reaching towards the sky. Again he was making his way towards me as the distance and the gap between us was closing in. Honestly I didn’t know if I would make it and escape him in time, or if our path would collide, but I knew I had to give it my best shot. And then I heard it and I will never forget that sound of two bullets passing just overhead of me and hitting the waterfront right next to me. He was shooting at us, why, clearly he could make me out as a person with a dog, just as I had made them out before. What reason would he have to shoot at us. I was thinking more about Cinnamon, it couldn’t be that he was mistaken her for a deer. Besides he didn’t look the least bit like a hunter. This was serious and adrenaline and survivals instinct took over. He was shooting at us, he wanted us gone. Cinnamons hair was standing straight up and she was visibly shaken from the gunshots as we continued to move.

We made it into the woods while never stopping to scan the side that was his direction to see if he was coming. “Should I hide and lock myself into the bathroom” I thought, which I quickly dismissed. How could I be sure of when and how it was safe to come out! I immediately knew I’d be there for hours and if he made in somehow and broke the door down, it would be lights out for sure. I had to keep going and follow the path close to the trees instead of walking in the middle of the gravel road which I usually do. Hopefully the trees would provide a “No shot” environment for us. Surely he’ll catch up to me with the RA and me being unable to run I thought, although at one point it felt like the adrenaline was carrying me so much that I might have been able to run. I didn’t try and I didn’t want to make more noise than I had to. Instead I walked as fast as I could. Ever so often Cinnamon stopped and looked back into the direction of the shooter. She will sense someone coming and hear someone long before you ever do and her doing this was even more nerve racking. It left me feeling followed and as if we were being hunted. I knew I had to clear another 1.7 miles to get back to the car. 1.7 miles that were sheer terror. If he was trying to scare us….mission accomplished for sure.

All of a sudden three more shots were fired and came directly from behind us. Not necessarily into our direction but on our heels. By now my feet were aching so badly, but this wasn’t a time to take it easy or even slow down. I managed to send a text message to communicate my where about’s and what had just happened. Luckily I had a signal and I hurried up just saying what I needed to as to not slow down and get distracted. We had to keep moving. FAST!

Eventually we made it back to the car and it must have been the longest 1.7 miles ever. Still looking in anticipation that the shooter was close behind us, I peeled out of there with Cinnamon and couldn’t even wrap my mind around what had just happened. After some distance, I was able to communicate another message that we were safe and had made it back to the car. Back at home, I lost the timeframe of a few hours somehow and I don’t even remember what I did in these few hours. As the adrenaline was wearing off, I felt so exhausted and drained. I was beat and I was so tired. I couldn’t force myself to complete the slightest task and just vegetated away. I don’t think I fell asleep and yet I have no recollection of that time.

Later that evening we were contemplating on what happened and the reality of hindsight set in. How this could have been a much different picture, ending in disaster and in what could have ended my life and Cinnamons. The conclusion we came up with was that that group of people was up to no good and that I became a witness to a potential drug deal. I was merely caught in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Shooting pictures of Cinnamon, perhaps they thought that I was photographing their interaction, which made me a threat. Why would someone with a gun shoot into the direction of people, me in that case, unless they wanted to eliminate that person? There was such a ruthlessness, such no hesitation in his action, it’s truly scary and puts into focus how far people are willing to go and how little a human life means.

Further we thought that he probably stopped his search once he had reached the bathroom. Few people, if any, park at the Main Street and then walk in 1.7 miles like I did. Out of frustration he fired the additional three shots that we heard behind us. He must have thought that I had driven off and didn’t realize that I was hustling through the woods to get away, still on foot. Had he realized this and known that it was slow going for me, I would have become an easy target for him and I’m most certain he would have pursued me.

Needless to say we are not going back there again. I am grateful Cinnamon cooperated and knew as well that we had to hurry and get ourselves out of there. I am sure she picked up on my own fear and that this was a dangerous situation. I slept little last night and felt cold. I remember feeling like that during a robbery I was held up in and at gunpoint years ago. Same feeling and I think it is the shock wearing off. Today we are just taking it easy and will walk a more populated path for our walk. I am still in awe, but I am grateful for this happy ending and that we are both still here. Today we have a new reason to give thanks and be appreciative that w have both gotten away.

Posted in Anxiety, Journey, Mom

Holding on tight and all the right means

I still approach each day with caution. I am still preparing for the relapse of the RA, but I am holding. By no means am I pain free, but I can manage better, with less of an effort and not as much struggle. I am alive vs just living and I am laser focused and dialed in on improving and continuing this path to healing. I am drinking a lot of Tart Cherry Juice and detoxifying teas. Mentally I have shed baggage and I am adjusting to my new life. I am doing better on the emotional front and the dark clouds have parted to give way to brighter days. Victory is around the corner. It’s been a battle and I have fought each year since 2018. The comeback has gotten harder and harder, with more and more time requirements and longer recovery periods needed. Pain has been a constant this summer, although I have always felt that the summer month are normally easier on me than winter. This was not the case this year and now, approaching winter all of a sudden I am getting better. It makes no sense and defies everything I thought I had learned about this autoimmune disease. Usually I can forecast storms and we had a decent one just the other day. I didn’t feel a thing. After the Mattress fiasco, I am finally sleeping better and here too, slight improvements are noted. Still not quite there yet and still waking up all kinds of hours throughout the night. As I said, nothing is perfect, yet, but every little change helps on the journey of bouncing back. I have to wear Men’s walking shoes due to the extra wide with I now require just to make sure nothing rubs and pinches while I walk that could cause more pain.

It’s amazing how much things move into the foreground and change after we have experienced them so differently for so long. Not being in pain so severely, every day has given me wings and a new appetite for life. Once again I look forward to things instead of dreading them and worrying about them. It’s like a beautiful day after the first freezes. We tend to see them in a new light of appreciation after we had to snuggle up by the heater and have experienced our first chill of the season. We know that these days are rare now, and we embrace them with added love and care. It was such a day just recently while taking Cinnamon out. It was sunny and mild with no wind, and life appeared intensified. I felt alive vs merely existing. I enjoyed going for a little drive. It was a beautiful day and a feeling of relief made itself noticeable in my belly. My breath went just a little deeper as usually and it was as if butterflies were dancing on the inside of me. A deep sigh and a smile appeared as I drove down the empty country road. Cinnamon was pressing her little body onto me, hanging out on the center console, and she too was smiling from ear to ear, tongue out, occasionally catching a whiff of something that entered through the rolled down car window.

It was earlier that day that I was talking to my cousin, soliciting her advice about booking a flight to Germany. I still had doubts, not trusting my health a 100%, although I don’t really want to put that energy out into the universe. I am getting better and I’m on the way to a full recovery, and that’s just that. So mote it be :). Perhaps I should say that I have entered what I see as a rehabilitation stage again. Only now that my days have become more stable, with more breaks in between the pain, can I attempt to work on getting my strength back and improve my endurance. I am walking more again and despite of limping by the end of our walk and having to remind Cinnamon to go slowly, I am doing it. I hope to continue. Instead of taking 3 pain pills at bedtime, I now take only one for a whole 24 hour time span. My goal is to the one into none.

By the end of our conversation I felt that we had arrived at a major decision when it comes to Germany. We decided that now was not the time to tackle this project but rather wait until early spring of next year. That some groundwork can be done now, but that it would be wiser to wait. Another burden fell off of me, but I realize that the work is just being delayed and I still think about the house daily, worrying. Time is of the essence and no further time can be wasted. It needs to be taken care of asap. I’m also dealing with things here right now, pressing things that require tending. It would be difficult to go and be so far away, unable to return if I needed to. But on the plus side, the United States is finally opening it’s borders again for international travel. No more uncertainty if I could make it back. In addition, the vaccination is behind me, despite of probably needing a booster shot once next year rolls around. We shall see.

Driving along the country road, I felt deep within me that it was the right choice to delay. I mean on a personal and health level and I can only pray the house is holding up a short while longer. I felt relieved to be honest. I didn’t think that I was ready physically and I wonder at times if my body went on strike on purpose as to ground me and force a period of rest. I will never know but it’s not the first time I have felt this way and it has happened before. Whatever it might be, the house remains my responsibility and I am blessed to have such an amazing support system in Germany helping me. I feel that now, hopefully I am on the mend when it comes to the health front. I have a better chance to prepare for Germany. To shop for a flight ahead of time, and be prepared mentally and physically. It’s going to be a hard time once more when I get there, filled with emotional stress of going through all belongings. But I also hope to find a balance as this responsibility and worry dissolves and no longer hangs over me like a dark cloud. At least this will be my outlook and how I will approach going on that big plane across the big pond the next time.